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LIFE-SAVER: Flood Emergency Simulator

(2/2007 - 5/2010)
Principal Investigator: Armanda Rodrigues

Parceiros: LNEC, FCUL

The latest generation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is object-oriented (OO), enabling the representation and manipulation of spatial elements, which can be adapted, extended or reformulated. One of the characteristics of agents is the fact that they are inherently OO. In this project, agents represent entities that reason and decide in a Emergency Plan (EP) context, using geo-referenced information. The simulator, integrated with GIS data, integrates emergency scenarios
including available EP resources, actors and roles. The system dynamics is visualized through an interactive interface platform representing the emergency scenario while parameters characterizing this dynamics are registered during the simulation period, for later analysis.

The case study is Alqueva Dam.

Simulation and Plan Representation

A flood emergency simulator prototype was implemented to validate the concepts identified by the study of real emergency plans. Among the most important aspects of the simulation model is the use of an agent-based approach to the problem. An agent object models each relevant entity stereotype and its behavior.

A Dam Break Emergency Plan (DBEP) specifies the actions expected from the rescue entities in an emergency scenario.

The DBEP document is validated (see the XML Schemas) by the analysis of the simulation output.


Visualization and Interaction

Visualization and interaction are key aspects in Emergency Management. Timely decisions depend on having the right tools, available in a way easily perceived by the users.

Creating a visual interface for the simulation presented several challenges. It is important that the users interact with a visually rich environment that allows a fast perception of the emergency that is being simulated. It should also be easy to use and be targeted for people with no special skills in computer science.

Having this in mind we created a prototype application that uses a graphical game engine to render a scenario where the user can observe and interact with natural and manmade disasters. Additionally the user can edit and define the agent and test several scenarios.


Workshop on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 (in portuguese)


Nóbrega R. and Correia, N, Multi-Touch Integration in Interactive Applications, Workshop TouchAffordances, 12th IFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - INTERACT’09, Uppsala, Sweden, August 2009 [pdf].

André Sabino and Armanda Rodrigues, A Visual Language for Spatially Aware Agent-based Modeling in Crisis Scenarios, 12th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science,Association of Geographic Information Laboratories for Europe, Hannover, Germany, June, 2009 [pdf].

Nóbrega, R., Sabino, A., Rodrigues, A., Correia, N.: Flood Emergency Interaction and Visualization System. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Visual Information Systems ( Visual 2008 ), Salerno, Italy, September 2008 [pdf]

Sabino, A., Nóbrega, R., Rodrigues, A., Correia, N.: Life-Saver: Flood Emergency Simulator. Proceedings of ISCRAM 2008, Washington D.C., USA, May 4-7, 2008 [pdf].
Related Files:
Life-Saver paper on visual specification of emergency plans.
DBEP XML Schemas
DBEP XML Schemas
Life-Saver ISCRAM 2008
Related Files:
Visual 2008

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